Guru Gobind’s Legacy

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    1666-1708 Nine-year old Gobind Rai [later Guru Gobind Singh], having newly succeeded his father as the Tenth Master, embraces his responsibility of leading the community upon news of his father’s execution in Delhi.

    Jyot – The Divine Light

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    A painting of Guru Gobind Singh ji which speaks to the divine connection to Waheguru which manifested itself in all ten Guru Sahibs. This painting depicts a period in Guru Gobind Singh's life journey when he went into isolation and entered a state of deep meditation for many months, returning with his vision of the Khalsa Panth.

    Siri Guru Granth Sahib – The Abode of Nanak

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    The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is the embodiment of the spiritual revolution which was first ignited by Guru Nanak dev ji and the life breath of eight more Nanaks nurtured and fed this flame. Then in 1699 Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth Sikh Guru, transformed that flame into a wildfire of spiritual liberation through the creation of the Khalsa panth.

    Baba Deep Singh Shaheed

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    1682-1753 Baba Deep drew a line with his Khanda and beseeched only those committed to giving their lives in defense of the Sikh faith to step over it. Five thousand Sikhs accompanied him on his journey to free Harimandir Sahib from the Afgan army that had desecrated it. Dressed as bridegrooms in fine clothing and festive ribbons, they joyously readied themselves to wed death. The painting speaks of this blessed journey and the mortal release experienced through their shaheedi spirit, where the spiritual fire upon which they cast their bodies also freed their souls.

    Sarbat Khalsa

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    During the turbulent 18th century, with the gradual collapse of the Mughal Empire and constant incursions by Afghan invaders into India, Sikhs became the de facto defenders of Punjab. During this period, Sikhs would congregate twice a year on Vaisakhi and Diwali at the Harminder Sahib. There, they would make important military and leadership decisions to help the Panth survive these difficult times. This consensus based approach to leadership lasted throughout the Sikh Misl period and allowed them to become a collective force and the unquestioned rulers of the Punjab.

    The Protector Guru Tegh Bahadur

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    Guru Tegh Bahadur laid down his life in order to protect religious freedom for all India which was under the oppressive rule of Mughal emperor Aurunzeb, who wished to convert the entire land to Islam. According to the Guru, living a truly spiritual life meant that one should neither oppress nor allow others to be oppressed. Sikh teachings have emphasized the basic human rights of equality, justice, freedom and the right to one's own religion. Under the inspiring guidance of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Sikhs regained their confidence and continued to grow in numbers and resources.

    Stand on Guard for Thee

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    To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Sikhs contribution to World War One, this painting represents a foray into the contemporary period of Sikh Military history. It is deals with the role of Sikh men and women of various nationalities who lived through this epic confrontation of Nations. The title of the painting, taken from the Canadian National Anthem, reflects upon the willingness of Sikhs to fight against oppression throughout history. It is a testament to the spirit of Guru Gobind Singh, which forever emboldens the Khalsa to strive towards a greatness that surpasses humble beginnings.

    Bachittar Singh – Saint Soldier

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    Initiated into the Khalsa on the historic first Vaisakhi Day, Bachittar Singh fought alongside Guru Gobind Singh in a number of battles in defense of Anandpur. This scene shows him in the famous single-handed combat with the enraged elephant charging at the Sikh fort of Lohgarh by the joint enemy forces of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the Hindu Hill Rajas. The Guru gifted Bhai Bachittar with two essential things to defeat the enraged beast, the Nagni spear and the courage to use it.

    Guru Gobind Singh Maharaj

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    In a brilliant move of strategy and leadership, Guru Gobind Singh initiated the ceremony of Amrit and transformed the Sikhs into the fearless and united body of the Khalsa. The Khalsa became a brave and moral fighting force against the tyrannical mughal ruler that occupied the Punjab. The Khalsa lives in the image and light of Guru Gobind Singh, dedicated to upholding righteousness, freedom, and the dignity of mankind. That is the Khalsa way.

    Guru Gobind Singh – Master and Disciple

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    The newly-minted Punj Pyaarey are asked by Gobind Rai to bless him in turn with Amrit, making him the sixth Khalsa in Sikhdom. Hence, we remember the Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh, as ‘aapey guru-chela’-“The One who is both the Teacher and the Disciple!”

    Gurgaddi Siri Guru Granth Sahib

    Guru Gobind Singh ji passed the Guruship to the Guru Granth Sahib ji, our eternal Guru. The event was witnessed by a loyal retinue of Sikhs who had accompanied him south to Nanded. This closely knit sangat, said to be composed of roughly three hundred Khalsa soldiers including Mai Bhago, devout Sikhs and the few remaining members of the Guru’s own family, had endured much tragedy and hardship to remain by his side in those difficult times. In 1708, on the banks of the river Godavari, on a spot chosen by the Guru, they assembled and bore witness this sublime moment that defined Sikhism forever after. Guru Gobind Singh instructed them to follow the Guru Granth Sahib just as if it were a living, breathing Guru.

    Mai Bhago and the Chaali Muktey

    Mai Bhag Kaur (Mai Bhago) was the inspiration behind the bravery of the martyrs known as the Chaali Muktey – the Liberated Forty – who died in the Battle of Muktsar (1705). She is best remembered as a valiant military commander and one of the elite warriors accompanying the Tenth Guru in battle.

    Guru Hargobind – Lord of Miri Piri

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    Guru Hargobind became the Guru of the Sikhs at the age of eleven after his father Guru Arjan was martyered on the orders of the mughal emperor. The Guru wore two swords representing Miri and Piri, to declare his temporal and spiritual authority. Guru Hargobind began construction of the Akal Takhat in 1663 with his own hands, and only Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas assisted him in this task. The Guru built the Akal Takhat to serve the panth for eternity and as the seat of the sovereignty of the Sikh nation it has withstood the assaults of many would-be rulers of the subcontinent who have come and gone.

    Guru Arjan Dev Ji Birth of the Adi Granth

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    Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth in the line of Guru Nanak, began the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib, which he called the Adi Granth – the “primal knot” which would forever secure the sanctity of the Sikh faith. The Guru sent out a call to all Sikhs far and wide to bring forth the poetry composed by the four Gurus. When all the volumes had been collected, he sat down with his scribe Bhai Gurdas and carefully selected the genuine works into the Holy Granth. With the completion of this momentous work, the Guru gave the world a gift so pure and essential, that it could transcend the boundaries of time and religion and exist beyond personality and human form.

    The Eternal Guru

    In 1708, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, having consciously witnessed the sacrifice of the lives of all his four sons, handed over the legacy of the Guruship to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. He understood that the age of lineage was over, and so he consciously left no heirs. The unique beauty of this is that the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, our present Guru, can neither be altered nor changed in any way. It is a touchstone for all humanity that exists beyond the limitations of time and space, now and in the future.

    Banda Singh Bahadur Sava Lakh Khalsa

    A hand-picked disciple of the Tenth Guru, Banda Singh was the first leader of the nascent Sikh nation after the Guru period. He proved an able military general, administrator and agrarian reformer, and died a martyr.

    Vaisakhi 1699 Birth of the Khalsa

    Bhai Daya Ram of Lahore, Punjab, is the first to raise his hand when Guru Gobind Rai asks for a volunteer willing to give his life in service of humanity. Mata Sahib Kaur looks on at the crowd of thousands that has gathered from across the land in response to the Gurus call. Transformed through Amrit into Daya Singh, he became one of the first 5 Khalsa…the Punj Pyaarey (the beloved five).

    Bhai Bachittar Singh

    Initiated into the Khalsa on the historic first Vaisakhi Day, Bachittar Singh fought alongside Guru Gobind Singh in a number of battles in defense of Anandpur. This scene shows him in the famous single-handed combat with the enraged elephant charging at the Sikh fort of Lohgarh by the joint enemy forces of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the Hindu Hill Rajas.

    Guru Nanak and His Companions (tonal)

    Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded the Sikh faith in rural Punjab during the mid 15th century. Discontent with the elusive values and hollow rituals of the Brahamanic Hindu tradition, he set forth on many journeys throughout his life to achieve a true union with God. His mission knew no boundaries or borders and he even completed the Muslim Hajj by traveling to Mecca.

    Guru Nanak’s Odyssey

    Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded the Sikh faith in rural Punjab during the mid 15th century. Discontent with the elusive values and hollow rituals of the Brahamanic Hindu tradition, he set forth on many journeys throughout his life to achieve a true union with God. He sought to spread the divine message of the Almighty and bring healing to a world stricken by the fires of Kalyug. The Guru's travels were accompanied by Mardana and Bhai Bala. He traveled throughout India, conversing with religious sages of the age and visit innumerable centers of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Sufi, Yogi and Sidh learning. His mission knew no boundaries or borders and he even completed the Muslim Hajj by traveling to Mecca.

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